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Thanksgiving 2014 in NYC

Brisbane, Australia
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Thanksgiving 2014 in NYC

We are travelling from Australia our first ever Thanksgiving in NYC this year - any suggestions on what to do on the day? Thanks!

New York City, New...
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for New York City
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1. Re: Thanksgiving 2014 in NYC

As you might realize, Thanksgiving is one of the biggest holidays in the US...it's non-religious and most people celebrate it. As a result, many shops, museums, etc will be closed, but there's still plenty you can do to fill the day!

First of all, in the morning there is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The night before Thanksgiving the parade's character balloons are blown up around the American Museum of Natural History, which is also a lot of fun! More information can be found here:

http://www.nyctourist.com/macys_map.htm

In addition to the parade, some of the other places/things you can do/see/visit on Thanksgiving Day include: Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Rockettes show), Top of the Rock or Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal, Staten Island Ferry, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, one of the zoos, one or more of the smaller parks, view the Christmas window displays in Midtown (see below for the holiday 2013 thread, which includes a mapped walk), and/or wander through neighborhoods with interesting architecture and decorations.

Thanksgiving is the kickoff of the holiday season in the US; here is last year's holiday thread with a list of many of the seasonal attractions:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60763-i5-k6976159…

Thanksgiving is a big family holiday focused around the traditional meal of turkey and all the trimmings. Here in NYC it's not uncommon to eat this special out, and many restaurants will be serving that day. Most restaurants only make reservations a month in advance, even for Thanksgiving. Use the OpenTable website; at the end of October it will have a special Thanksgiving link:

www.opentable.com/new-york-city-restaurants

Here are some lists from last year with Thanksgiving restaurant recommendations:

timeout.com/newyork/food-drink/thanksgiving-…

nymag.com/guides/…

zagat.com/l/new-york-city/top-restaurants-fo…

Have a great trip!!

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Thanksgiving 2014 in NYC

Wonderful! Thanks for your great suggestions.

NYC / Fire Island...
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3. Re: Thanksgiving 2014 in NYC

With regard to the Parade:

For 20+ years we were among the 80 makeup artists that paint the faces on the 700-800 clowns that annually walk in the Macy’s parade. (And if you have an aptitude for make-up or art, contact Macy’s for this GREAT opportunity!) We churn them out between 5AM - 8 AM (at the New Yorker Hotel) and at that point they are bussed uptown to the start of the parade. In past years we have either gone to the starting point with them (it is a hoot there standing with the on-lookers and can be crowded, but so is the rest of the route); or we have gone to stand with the camera crews in front of Macy’s to watch the professional acts (many are from Broadway shows). But, ultimately, we found that the best views of the parade, floats, balloons and the professional performers are at home on the couch in front of the TV.

That said, if you are watching the parade along the route, you are likely to miss the professional acts in front of Macy’s. And if you are lucky enough to get a seat or standing room in front of Macy’s, you lose the perspective of the crowds. And in either case, you are likely to be cold and/or wet as it often rains on Thanksgiving Day. The TV gives a superior prospective on the entire event and is much more comfortable.

Bottom line: If you LOVE crowds and MUST have the experience of the parade, then go. We recommend standing along Central Park West a few blocks south (below) of the line-up on the west side of the avenue. Stay away from the Times Square area and the area around Macy’s. It will get VERY crowded in those locations. In any case, start the adventure with an empty bladder!

Otherwise, sleep late and watch the parade on TV with a cup of coffee or tea or hot chocolate.

CH

NYC / Fire Island...
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4. Re: Thanksgiving 2014 in NYC

On Thanksgiving Day many venues are closed BUT there are still many things to do: the Rockettes at Radio City, or ice skating at Rockefeller Center, or a stroll on the Highline or Brooklyn Bridge, or a helicopter ride, or a walk in Central Park….and for a traditional Thanksgiving meal we highly recommend that you make reservations at Friend of The Farmer restaurant on Irving Place a few blocks south of Gramercy Park (the largest private park in the City):

www.friendofafarmerny.com/thanksgiving.php

That said, on the Wednesday (day before Thanksgiving) and the following Friday, Saturday & Sunday, the City will be back in full swing.

CH

New Jersey
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5. Re: Thanksgiving 2014 in NYC

It's a major family holiday which means many things will stay closed. Now in recent years department stores and malls in many places start to open late afternoon/early evening on the Thanksgiving Day for the Black Friday sale (biggest sale and most crazy shopping day of the year). Queues will be very long hours before opening so avoid Macy's as an example.

6. Re: Thanksgiving 2014 in NYC

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